Universal, Warner, Sony and indies license video music app Flipagram

The world’s biggest record labels and music publishers – plus leading independents in both camps – have fully licensed a US-based social photo and video editing app which boasts more than 30 million users.

Flipagram allows its audience to create ‘short stories’ with their existing photos or videos set to music. It says its videos ‘offer more narrative space than Vine or Instagram looping videos, but are shorter and less cumbersome to create and share than longer length YouTube or Facebook videos’.

Its consumers will will now be able to soundtrack these creations with millions of music clips. Flipagram has been licensed by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music, Merlin and The Orchard, and music publishers including Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group and BMG – plus a swathe of independents via US organisation the NMPA.

The details of the Flipagram deal are unclear, but it’s certainly likely the music industry reps have taken equity in the company judging on similar past agreements.

And you can possibly expect that a chunky advance may have changed hands too – not least as Flipagram has also just raised $70m in a Series B funding round.

The industry-wide licensing of Flipagram indicates where the music business’s leaders hope a new revenue stream may come from: social sharing and messaging mobile apps.

It comes three months after a similar-sounding agreement was struck with Canada-born messaging app Rithm.

“Universal Music Group has a long track record of working with innovative new digital services like Flipagram to engage fans and provide new commercial opportunities for our artists,” said Francis Keeling, global head of digital business at Universal Music Group.

“Innovative new digital services like flipagram engage fans and provide new commercial opportunities for artists.”

Francis Keeling, UMG

“We’re looking forward to watching millions of Flipagram’s users express their creativity in videos set to our artists’ music.”

Mark Piibe, executive vice president of global business development and digital strategy at Sony Music Entertainment said: “We are pleased to be making Sony Music content available through Flipagram.

“We see great promise in mobile apps that, like Flipagram, harness the creativity of users and put it to music.

“The addition of our large catalogue of many of the world’s most popular artists to Flipagram provides meaningful value for users who want the highest quality music to complement and enhance their visual storytelling.”

Commented Paul Sinclair, executive vice president of digital strategy and innovation at Atlantic Records: “We’re constantly seeking out innovative ways for fans to connect the music they love with the lives they lead.

“At the same time, we’re always striving to ensure that the value of music is properly recognized.

“Flipagram is a dynamic, thriving service, and we’re pleased that its users will be able to play new music from artists such as Icona Pop, Flo Rida and Nate Ruess as the soundtracks to their personal stories.”

Flipagram claims to be ‘the first social application to incorporate music into the core of its offering because it is the only one solely focused on short visual stories where music fits naturally – as opposed to apps for sharing individual photos, text messages, micro-videos, or links, where music is an afterthought’.

“With these deals, our users get unprecedented access to a comprehensive catalog of popular, classic and indie song clips to use as the soundtrack to their Flipagram stories,” said Farhad Mohit, founder and CEO of Flipagram.

“And our music partners benefit from having their music featured and available for purchase in the tens of millions of Flipagrams being created and shared each month worldwide.”

Flipagram is available on iOS, Android, Amazon and Windows platforms.Music Business Worldwide

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